texturing over layers of wallpaper

tessalovesliliesJanuary 25, 2006

I have a house from 1931 with plaster walls. In some areas there is at least 3 layers of wallpaper in other areas the previous owner painted over the wallpaper & I don't know how many layer are under the paint. We have tried scoring the wallpaper & soaking it with many different solutions. Were having a really tuff time getting the wallpaper off & we are damaging the walls in the process. My question is if we can just primer the walls & then use joint compound to texture over the primer & then paint over that. I'm going for a venetian plaster look on the walls.

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If I were you, I'd stick with the paper removal and use the texturing to hide any defects. If you try what you're suggesting, you'll probably have adhesion failure in a number of places and some ugly delamination over time.
For scoring, I've had luck with both an old hand saw, where I rake the teeth across the paper quite firmly, and by using something you can buy called (I think) a Paper Tiger. It also helps if you use heat. I typically soak the walls using a big sponge with a soapy solution, and then go over the paper with an old steam iron in one hand and a scraper in the other. Wallpaper steamers also work quite well and you can get them at most rental stores.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 3:09PM
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I once painted over wallpaper in a previous house and was sorry. It's not worth it! If none of the suggestions work, perhaps you could hire someone to do just that part of the job.

In my current house, there were about 6 alternating layers of wallpaper/paint on every wall and ceiling. The contractor who was doing the heavy renovation work removed the wallpaper and I did the rest of the painting.

My daughter's name is Tessa. Beautiful name!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2006 at 10:56PM
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To remove wallpaper from plaster walls use a 3 inch or 4 inch razor blade scrapper. If you work carefully you can usually split the bottom layer of paper in half leaving a thin layer of paper. This comes off easily with any of the regular wet removal methods.
The worst that happens is a few shallow gouges that are easily spotted with drywall compound.
Adding joint compound over the paper can easily result in partial removal as the trapped moisture has plenty of time to enter the paper (particularly at the seams).
Buy lots of blades for the scrapper. The plaster knocks the edge off pretty quickly.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 10:39AM
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Try renting a steamer to remove the wallpaper I have a friend who swears by hers.. I textured a wall twenty years ago that I have to live with. Sorry I did it because there is no way to remove the texture.
I once painted a heavily papered room and was sorry for the mess it made.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 6:31PM
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Our professional applied a paste primer over the wallpaper, then was able to spackle and sand the ridges, and painted over everything. The room has looked fine for about five years, then just last week I noticed a crack going diagonal from a window. So I guess his solution was only temporary.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 11:26AM
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Texturing over paper is not a good idea, it will eventually fail. Scoring, hot water and a sharp blade are the keys to removal. If your heart is set on painting over the wallpaper an oil based primer is the way to go......latex, which is water based will make your paper bubble, and in fact may be an easy solution to your struggle in stripping the walls.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 5:33PM
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Pro steamers are worth their weight in rental fees
But if it's really, I mean Really bad - what about putting all that elbow grease to work on applying 3/8" drywall over the entire area? It might be easier.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 6:04PM
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